The number of households that became homeless (accepted by local authorities as owed the main homelessness duty) in England between October 2008 and December 2008 was 21 per cent lower than for the same period in 2007. Homelessness acceptances peaked in 2003/04, and since then have dropped by 62%, with year on year reductions.

In addition, the number of households living in temporary accommodation on 31 December 2008 had fallen by 15 per cent compared to 31 December 2007. Temporary accommodation has now fallen for 13 consecutive quarters and is one third lower than the peak during 2004. 88 per cent of households in temporary accommodation are in self-contained accommodation. Since April 2004, when the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003 came into force, local authorities can no longer discharge their duty to families with children accepted as homeless by placing them in Bed and Breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks.  

The National Rough Sleeping Estimate for 2008 published in September 2008 shows there are 483 people sleeping rough on the streets of England on any single night. This represents a 74 per cent reduction in rough sleeping since 1998. The Government has set out a vision to work with partners to end rough sleeping by 2012.

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On 18 November 2008, at the Crisis Conference in the City of London,  Homelessness Minister, Iain Wright MP launched the new rough sleeping strategy - No One Left Out - Communities ending rough sleeping, a fifteen point action plan that sets out our vision to work with partners to end rough sleeping by 2012.

Further information can be found in News Release: New goal to end rough sleeping - 18 November 2008.

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